1988 Jeep Wrangler Reviews

1988 Jeep Wrangler Sport 4.2L I6 from North America

Model year1988
Year of manufacture1988
First year of ownership2008
Most recent year of ownership2008
Engine and transmission 4.2L I6 Manual
Performance marks 9 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 5 / 10
Dealer Service marks 3 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 10 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.0 / 10
Distance when acquired163900 miles
Most recent distance165850 miles

Summary:

It's a Jeep; if you don't like it, why did you get it!

Faults:

The Jeep wasn't bad when I got it. I bought it for $650 and the reverse was blown out of the trans. Other than that it was good.

I bought a used trans that works amazing for $100, and the clutch kit for $240.

General Comments:

I have nothing bad to say about the Jeep. Everything about it is good.

I had some problems with my soft top ripping, but other than that, I'm a 100% satisfied with the Jeep. I have wanted one for a while. and I got it. redid the body with some bondo and bondo hair; did the job, and not it's flat black with a gray hardtop and tinted windows.

I honestly love this lil woods beater.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 1st August, 2008

1988 Jeep Wrangler Base 4.2 liter from North America

Year of manufacture1988
First year of ownership1999
Most recent year of ownership2003
Engine and transmission 4.2 liter Manual
Performance marks 5 / 10
Reliability marks 2 / 10
Comfort marks 5 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 1 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
3.3 / 10
Distance when acquired147000 miles
Most recent distance170000 miles
Previous carHonda Prelude

Summary:

Unreliable, but undeniably cool nonetheless

Faults:

Engine seized @ 166,000.

Carb never worked right, replaced numerous times, STILL stalls occasionally w/a high performance Weber and rebuilt engine.

Replaced struts.

Needs camshaft.

General Comments:

Like they always say, a Jeep is built, not bought. A great fun ride, but very very expensive and problematic.

Very loud on the highway, even with hardtop. Don't even try to have a conversation with a softtop if you're doing more than 25mph.

Horrible horrible gas mileage. Used to only get about 12mpg and would only run on premium before engine was rebuilt, still stalled constantly.

I don't recommend this as a daily driver. It's more of a mechanical disaster that is fun to drive when it works.

Horrible in the snow.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 16th August, 2003

12th Jul 2006, 21:14

I have been test driving a 1988 Jeep.. that I want to buy for my daughter (she has short legs) very small girl.. This here little jeep runs great with 189,000 miles on it. And the only bad thing I have to say about this little fella is that when I'm going 80 on the highway.. he vibrates alittle... Some one told me to stay under 75 miles an hour.. and boy did that work. Great little jeep.. I think I'll buy it for me...

24th Mar 2009, 21:18

I agree the 4 cylinder isn't as good as the 4.2. Also by the sounds of your complaints; noise, gas mileage, that sort of thing, that maybe a Jeep just isn't for you. Jeep drivers are a rare breed :)

11th Sep 2009, 13:31

I bought a 1988 Jeep Wrangler with over 200,000 miles on it. The first thing I did was rebuild the motor. The body was in perfect shape, the Jeep runs like a champ now. I even let my oldest son drive it to the coast every week.

26th Dec 2009, 17:00

I have a 1988 Wrangler with a 4 cylinder, and the only complaint I have is in cold weather it is hard to start, however it starts every time, just needs some time to warm up. I have rebuilt the engine twice, and will continue to rebuild when it needs it. I use it as both a daily ride and a weekend mountain climber. When it rains I get wet and love it. It's a Jeep thing; if you're afraid to get wet or dirty, there are lots of buyers for it.

1988 Jeep Wrangler 4.2L from North America

Year of manufacture1988
First year of ownership2000
Most recent year of ownership2003
Engine and transmission 4.2L Manual
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 7 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.3 / 10
Distance when acquired66000 miles
Most recent distance91000 miles
Previous carJeep Cherokee

Summary:

A car with history and character

Faults:

Right from the beginning the vehicle was hard to start. After getting the car home. I did a complete tune up and noticed that the previous owner had been running the car with the idle speed set to high. I also checked the timing and found it be off contributing to the vehicles hard starting problem. I adjusted both to within the manufactures specification. Still hard to start when warm, but a vast improvement from when I purchased the vehicle.

The after market soft top and doors that came with vehicle leaks in the rain around the doors. I have patched it up with aftermarket weather stripping.

At 75000 miles during the winter of 2001, I lost the ability to engage the four wheel drive function. I discovered and replaced rotted hoses to the front vacuum motor which engage the front hubs.

At 89000 miles, the throw bearing started making noises. Replaced both the bearing and clutch assembly.

At 91000 miles I replaced the oxygen sensor and I have noticed a marked improvement to the starting problem I mentioned earlier.

General Comments:

I have 1988 Wrangler with the USA Olympics dress up package. It came with USA and Olympic ring decals and special tape treatment. Jeep was an Olympic sponsor that year so I consider my Jeep a little rare gem.

The old 4.2L six cylinder engine in this vehicle is no rocket, but it runs smooth and has been very reliable.

I have slowly personalized and upgraded the Jeep to my taste with a Sony XM satellite sound system, front bra, and new slide window upper doors (I hated the plastic windows in my lap when I unzipped them).

The new TJ Wranglers may recall and improve on history with their round headlights and better ride, but I love my YJ with all its quirks: square headlights, rough ride and slow engine. No matter what it is still Jeep.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 24th February, 2003

3rd May 2005, 15:46

The only reason I commented is that I saw that you added a bra. It is a good idea to protect from the numerous scratches you will get while driving straight into an untouched forest, but if you are just driving around town, it tends to scratch the paint horribly underneath while in daily driving conditions. Just wanted to give a fellow jeeper my two cents worth. Good luck with your ride, I hope the next time you look under your jeeps bra you still find good paint.

Average review marks: 5.7 / 10, based on 5 reviews